Categorized | Featured, News, Tsunami

Kawaihae residents stumble upon possible tsunami debris

Curren Krizek holds the 500 watt glass lightbulb he and his father found Sept. 26 near Kawaihae. (Photo courtesy of Kincaid Krizek)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Kawaihae resident Kincaid Krizek and his son Curren couldn’t quite believe what they stumbled upon Sept. 26 near Kawaihae Harbor – a bright red lightbulb etched with Japanese writing.

“My son Curren and I like to go down to the ocean and explore at the beach around sunset,” Krizek said. “We were walking down the little beach near Kawaihae Canoe Club when we spotted this bright red thing washed up ahead.”

Closeup of the Japanese writing on the bulb. (Photo courtesy of Kincaid Krizek)

They soon discovered it was a bright red Japanese 500 watt glass light bulb.

“I was blown away it could have traveled so far. It had fully grown goose neck barnacles so it had been at sea for quite awhile,” Krizek said. “All the barnacles were still alive and moving around so it must have just recently washed up.”

Krizek and his son took the prized find home and dunked it in a gallon of salt water to keep the barnacles alive.

“The writing on the bulb is all in Japanese so I figured it could be from the tsunami,” he said.

In an effort to be sure, Krizek sent pictures to Nikolai Maximenko from the International Pacific Research Center at UH Manoa. Maximenko is doing research about the Japanese Tsunami Debris Field.

“It turns out similar bulbs have washed up on Kauai and Molokai in the last couple weeks. They were identified by their similar writing as Japanese Fishing Boat lights,” Krizek said. “He could not say for sure if they were from the tsunami or from a random fisherman throwing a burnt bulb overboard.

Krizek, however, said he finds it too much of a coincidence for three of them to wash up so closely in such a short time.

“I have never seen one in the 30 years I’ve spent around the ocean surfing and boating.” he said. “There were hundred of boats destroyed during the tsunami, so its possible they all floated away in the debris field.”

The Krizeks’ find was followed by the discovery Oct. 3 of a giant pontoon-like object on the lava shore near Naalehu.

As reported in The Ka‘u Calendar, hikers first the giant yellow metal object. It is about 12 feet tall and 20 feet wide and may be a pontoon for a floating dock

According to an oceanographic model generated by the University of Hawaii International Pacific Research Center, debris from the March 11, 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami is likely to come ashore in Hawaii through next spring.

Sightings of debris – with photos, time, location and contact information – should be reported to,, and

Debris also may be reported to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources at 808-587-0400.

— Find out more:

Pontoon-type object found Oct. 3 near Naalehu. (Photo courtesy of Ka‘u Calendar)


DLNR examining options to remove yellow metal container from isolated coastline south of Naalehu

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is examining its options for removal of a large circular yellow metal container measuring approximately 10 feet high and 20 feet in diameter which washed ashore on the lava shore four miles south of Na’alehu in Ka’u district, south Hawai’i. A report was made to the department on October 4, from a caller who said he had seen it at Waikapuna on September 27. Hikers had also discovered the object on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

A DLNR Big Island staff member was able to locate the object on Friday at the end of a fishing trail on private land. There were no signs of any identification marks so its origin at this time is unknown. There were also no signs of marine life growing on the container, which appeared clean except for minimal algal growth.

DLNR has asked various local maritime agencies for assistance to identify this type of large object. NOAA is also checking its database of reported tsunami debris objects.


The public may report possible findings of possible Japan tsunami marine debris to the Department of Land and Natural Resources at, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at Both agencies are asking for photos, date, detailed description of the item and if there are any living organisms other than gooseneck barnacles, location and finder’s contact information. Reports may be made by phone to DLNR at (808) 587-0400.

2 Responses to “Kawaihae residents stumble upon possible tsunami debris”

  1. Yvonne Auxier says:

    Dear Krizek,

    Thank you for creating this page. On Oct/08/2013, approx. two hours after high tide (9 or 10 a.m.) my son and I found an identical red 500 watt light bulb on the Oregon Coast about 500 feet from the old Peter Iredale Shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park. Strangely enough, the barnacles were smaller than the ones on your bulb. While the metal was clearly rusting away from the salt water, the bulb was still sealed and the filament still unbroken. Isn’t that amazing? We can also see swirl lines in the bulb if we hold it up to the glass. After scrubbing off the dead barnacles, we used oil to improve transparency (the glass has dulled) and then the internal co. insignia and writing are easily seen. We are positive about when it came ashore because we walked that same path the previous late afternoon. In the direct center of the circle print on our bulb it has a company name, TAKUYO. Another identical bulb was found off the coast of Maui back in March, and one was found by Brian Schultz, a Takuyo Red 500w in Marin Co. at Point Reyes. (facebook)
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Yvonne & Adam Auxier

  2. Grace Krizek Blaker says:

    Would like to be in touch with you.Believe we are related.My brother George H.Krizek of Ca.


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